But thankfully, one of Milgram’s findings was not-so depressing. In later experiments, he found that obedience levels were significantly reduced by the presence of rebellious peers. If there were other participants that refused to go along with the experimenter’s orders, 36 out of 40 teachers refused to deliver maximum shock to the students.
That’s pretty good. That means although most people will not fight against something they feel is wrong, it really only takes one strong individual to stand up and say “Hey, this isn’t right. I won’t do this” to get people to follow suit and start thinking for themselves again. Perhaps that fact isn’t really too comforting, but it does allow for us to maintain a little bit of hope. If we have strong enough leaders, who are unwilling to sacrifice what they feel is right even when threatened with punishment from those in a position of power, perhaps we still have a chance at making the world a better place.